Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Allergic.  §

It’s been a long time since I thought about the fact that I have an allergy to nickel. I used to get contact dermatitis something fierce when I was young, to the point of blood and scars. It took a while for docs to point to the nickel as the culprit, but as soon as I cut metal out of my life, it all basically went away.

I haven’t really had to worry about it for years.

For the last few years, I’ve been wearing watches again. Then, in the fall, I bought a pair of Dr. Martens boots, the first I’d worn in just under a decade.

Aaaaaand the allergy is acting up again. I’ve stopped wearing the boots. I’d forgotten about the eyelet effect—the little metal eyelets that shoelaces pass through have nickel in them, evidently, and it’s causing my leg to itch up a storm, and I’m getting rashes elsewhere as well. So, no to the boots, and I’ve started taking my watch off at night. Hopefully that does the trick in calming this back down again.

No more Dr. Martens for me, sadly. Or any boots or shoes with metal eyelets in them. The close contact with skin is just too much.

— § —

Every now and then these days I have a moment in which I suddenly stop and think about the fact that I am separated from my wife. My kids have to travel back and forth between houses, splitting time and realities. I live in a broken home. I have contributed to making a broken home.

I never, ever thought that would be me.

To is set of thoughts, too, I am allergic. I can press on and plod along as long as I don’t really think about it all. But to realize where I am is absolutely paralyzing.

I’m deeply into that “one day at a time” territory that children hear “the adults” in their lives pass back and forth between each other over the various treacheries of reality.

It sucks.

— § —

I have been very involved in the primary election horse race this year, with some donating and phone calls as well, and thoughts of volunteering at some of the Orem events.

But I think I’m done; I think I’ve reached my saturation point. The election, the nation, and the electorate are—basically—disgusting.

Elections destroy my faith in humanity. Funny, because I seem to remember learning all the way back in high school civics class that it was supposed to be the opposite.

I’m glad I’m not having to teach this semester on all those topics I used to teach about—authority and legitimacy, legitimation crises, democratic theory as juxtaposed against totalitarian and autocratic models, and so on. Because I’m pretty sure I’d find myself sneering and saying inappropriate things at least once or twice.

Yes, I said it: the election, the nation, and the electorate are disgusting.

— § —

Cleaning is something that I can’t seen to stay ahead of. The older I get, the more allergic I feel to having a messy house, but at the same time, working daytimes with two kids around doesn’t make it easy to keep the floor bare.

And then I have these insane “cleaning bursts” that are basically two hours of jogging around the house as I replace item(s) that have strayed from their places, mop, vacuum, do laundry, disinfect and sanitize, and so on. But it is a cycle: clean -> borderline -> disaster -> manic tidy -> clean. Basically Monday/Tuesday (clean) -> Wednesday (borderline) -> Thursday (disaster) -> weekend, respectively.

The problem with this model is that as the calendar moves, I have to intervene after disaster with the “manic tidy,” generally on weekends. If I fail to do so, then there is no time for the “manic tidy” during the week and we end up with a full week of: disaster -> worse disaster -> ugggggh -> impossible tidy task.

It all leaves very little flexibility to actually live life.